The Benefits of Social Media in Government – Citizen Engagement

Three major benefits of social media in gov 2.0 are:

  1. Citizen engagement
  2. Employee engagement
  3. Improved communication and collaboration

Today, I will discuss …

Citizen Engagement

In the web 1.0 paradigm, we ‘engaged’ citizen’s by publishing information on government websites like this …

Information in this model is difficult to find and government-centric. There is no online interaction between citizens and government.

In the web 2.0 paradigm, government and citizens engage in an ongoing online dialogue which could be modelled like this …

People show up on the web connected to one another around shared interests and a means to communicate. Some of the things that interest people also interest government. In the diagram above, I put government in the centre because I’m writing from the point of view of government. But this is a mistake. We’ve done that long enough. The view should be citizen centric …

Human beings have a natural tendency to want to build relationships, share experiences and contribute to their areas of expertise and interest. Online, we create groups and facilitate discussion on everything from photography to chess, knitting to bridge. Sometimes we create groups that influence, and even direct, government policy and legislation.

I define citizen engagement as the involvement of citizens in the government decision-making process. The optimum goal of democracy is government for the people by the people.

For the first time in history, the transaction costs of bringing people together to discuss, faciliate and implement new policy are approaching zero. Previously, it would have been too costly and time-consuming to involve most citizens in a debate and decision on a public policy issue. Social media now enables public discussion and decision-making like never before. It enables a brave new world of public policy, public engagement and public decision-making. … but we are not there yet! … (continued).

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3 thoughts on “The Benefits of Social Media in Government – Citizen Engagement

  1. Pingback: 5 Objections to Social Media in Government … and their Responses | siliconvalleynorthof49

  2. Pingback: 5 Objections to Social Media in Government … and their Responses | Government In The Lab

  3. Pingback: Government In The Lab | Government In The Lab

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